Rail chaos continues
What has happened since the new timetable was introduced can only be described as total chaos, and a failure to provide the people of Bedford and Kempston with a functioning train service. Thousands of commuters have been left without services and this has drastically affected people’s everyday lives.
Two weeks ago, I asked the Secretary of State to reinstate EMT peak rail services, and he agreed that this would be the logical solution to the problem. Last Friday, he finally wrote to me to tell me that he cannot make this happen after all. I have asked to be provided with details of the work that has been undertaken that demonstrates this – I fail to see how if the trains cannot be reintroduced when Thameslink are currently running a reduced timetable, how exactly EMT would therefore be expecting to reintroduce these trains in 2020. This lack of transparency is completely unacceptable.
I will be meeting with the Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, and will be raising a range of issues with him in addition to the above.
What this entire episode has showed is that the Government does not have control of the situation. 284 other MPs, along with myself, supported a vote of No Confidence in the Transport Secretary earlier this week. He has failed to strategically manage and oversee the UK railway and take responsibility for his role in the crisis on England’s railways.
I continue to press the Transport Secretary for details of the forthcoming compensation package that will be offered to passengers. That said, I know that no amount of money can replace the hours of waiting on overcrowded platforms, late nights, childcare disruption and devastation that this current situation is having on people’s lives.
I think that it’s really important that the Government hears the real stories of the personal emotional, physical and financial upheaval to people’s lives. If you would like to, please send me your experiences, and I will share these with the Secretary of State for Transport. If you would be happy for me to share the content but would like your name and/or email address removed, please let me know, as that would still send a powerful message.
I would strongly recommend that passengers submit ‘Delay Repay’ claims for every journey affected, where possible – it is important that Thameslink are made to see how huge the problems have been. Please follow this link to submit a claim. If you receive a refusal to a delay repay request, I would be interested to know and will take this up on your behalf. Please get in touch with my office if this has been the case.